# April, 21, 2020

Medicare Phone Number: How Do You Contact Medicare?

The Medicare phone number is 1-800-MEDICARE (633-4227). TTY and TTD users may reach Medicare at 1-877-486-2048.

Both of these are toll-free numbers. You may call either number to receive Medicare help regarding billing, claims, medical records, and more. However, this is not how you sign up for Medicare. You do that through the Social Security Administration, or SSA.

What Is SSA?

SSA stands for the Social Security Administration. This is the United States government office that handles applications for retirement benefits, disability, and Medicare.

The Social Security website is SSA.gov. It offers users an incredible library of information about retirement benefits and Medicare. It’s also where you go to submit a request for a new Social Security card, estimate your retirement benefits, and much more.

Our recent article on the SocialSecurity.gov website walks you through everything you can do on the SSA site.

How Do You Sign Up for Medicare?

You sign up for Medicare through Social Security. The fastest, easiest way to do it is by using the online application on the SSA website. It is available to anyone who:

  • Is at least 64 year and 9 months old
  • Has zero Medicare coverage (not even Part A)
  • Does not currently receive Social Security, including retirement, disability, and survivor benefits
  • Does not wish to receive Social Security benefits yet

It takes less than 10 minutes to complete the Medicare application.

You may also apply for Medicare over the phone by calling 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available to assist you Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM. Hold times may be considerable, though, so expect to spend much more than 10 minutes signing up for Medicare if you do it by phone.

Finally, you may apply for Medicare in person by visiting your local Social Security office. Use the Social Security Office Locator to find the closest location near you. Please note that all local Social Security offices are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They are scheduled to remain closed through at least April 2020.

Medicare coverage

Is There a Medicare Coverage Helpline?

No, there is no special helpline or Medicare customer service phone number for coverage questions. 1-800-MEDICARE is your only option to reach Medicare via phone. The Medicare website does provide a page that lets you check whether your service, test, or a particular item are covered. Click here to enter the relevant search term.

That page also includes a link to an alphabetical list of common conditions and services. For example, if you click the first link, Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screenings, you go to a page that describes when Medicare covers that service, how often, and what your costs are.

Where Can You Find a Local Medicare Office?

Unfortunately, there are no local Medicare offices. Anything you need to do with Medicare needs to be handled either online or through the phone.

The Medicare website offers extremely detailed information on everything to do with Medicare, from how to sign up to how to appeal a claim decision. It also provides forms for filing claims or grievances, requesting a new card, and more.

Will Medicare Call You?

Nobody from either Medicare or Social Security will ever call you unless you have specifically requested a phone call. All communication with both entities is via U.S. mail.

If someone does call you claiming to be from Medicare or Social Security, hang up the phone. Then call the appropriate 800-number listed above and explain what happened. Follow their instructions about what to do next.

What Is a Medicare Provider Number?

A Medicare provider number is a 6-digit code that the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) assigns to any healthcare provider who accepts assignment. That means the provider agrees to provide services according to Medicare guidelines.

Please note that this code applies only to providers. Medicare beneficiaries do not need access to provider numbers.

Comparing Your Medicare Plan Options

Our Find a Plan tool makes it easy to compare your Medicare plan options. Just enter your zip code, county, and start date. Then, hit Continue to start viewing Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans in your area. The tool is easy to use and won’t cost you a penny.


Donna Frederick

After retiring from a career as an executive travel counselor in 2006, Donna Frederick embarked on a second career as a licensed insurance agent. During that first year, many clients told Donna how overwhelmed they felt by Medicare, but that her assistance helped them finally understand the Medicare program. That experience inspired Donna to focus her efforts on educating her clients to ensure they fully understand their Medicare options. Today, Donna takes pride in providing outstanding customer service and going the extra mile to make sure each client knows all of their options and has a sound understanding of their Medicare plan, from costs to coverage and all points in between.

The MedicareUSA website is operated by HealthPlanOne, LLC a licensed health insurance agency based in Connecticut; in California d/b/a HPOne Insurance Agency, license #OF30784. HealthPlanOne, is a licensed and certified representative of Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO and PPFS organizations and stand-alone prescription drug plans with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in any plan depends on contract renewal.

For a complete list of available plans please contact 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048), 24 hours a day/7 days a week or consult www.medicare.gov.

The purpose of this communication is the solicitation of insurance. Contact will be made by an insurance agent/producer or insurance company.

Medicare supplement plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or the federal Medicare program.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) does not review or approve Medicare Supplement plan information.

Other Pharmacies are available in the plans' networks.

Last Updated 12/21/2018